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Monday, January 26, 2009

Your risks in construction marketing

You can build a successful business quietly, brick by brick, solidly on the foundations of solid relationships and respect within your community and among your clients and peers. You can also build your business by taking risks; by audacious advertising, assertive marketing, and unconventional behaviour that makes you unpopular with your peers -- by attracting clients few of them really want.

Which approach is better? The paradox is that while the latter approach is undoubtedly best for my (advertising focused) business, the former may be the best if you are a consumer, or someone who wishes to enjoy balanced business life.

However, you will need to achieve the rare combination of both elements if you wish to achieve true greatness in business. (Don't worry: Most of us don't want to go that far -- you need to be willing to roll your dice and take yourself far out of most conventional comfort zones to go there.)

Consider the professions, especially law and engineering. Lawyers for many years in most jurisdictions discouraged and often banned advertising. Then the rules cracked, and now you see ads on television, the Internet, and more, selling the virtue of contingency-fee lawyers for a variety of civil claims.

Are the lawyers who advertise the most extensively likely to provide the best quality legal advice? Maybe, but my sense is, if you really need a lawyer, you should forget the ads and focus on the relationships and referrals from people you really respect who have actually used their services in the past.

Now what if you are an architect or engineer, and decide to break convention, and allocate major funds for advertising? You likely would recoil in disdain -- and puzzlement about whether this is a wise thing to do. After all, your practices are likely built on personal relationships, reputation, and integrity, and loud ads seem highly unlikely to take you where you wish to go. (I'm not arguing with you.)

However, I sense if you had the courage and budget to break the rules, your practice could grow to levels beyond your dreams (though you would find your life among your professional peers lonely, as they reject you, and you might find your ideal clients want little to do with you.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have similar thoughts.Please read Mark.